The Commissioner is supported by an executive team, with each member having responsibility for key aspects of the ATO’s performance.
The ATO Executive sets our strategic direction and monitors delivery of our commitments to government and the community. Its focus is on strategic matters that relate to the direction and positioning of the organisation. The Executive also provides leadership, driving the client-focused culture of the ATO.
Chris Jordan AO was appointed as the 12th Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Register on 1 January 2013. On 4 April 2021, Chris was also appointed as Registrar of the Australian Business Registry Services.
Chris has broad and lengthy experience in tax policy and law development and implementation, having held influential roles in the private sector and as a government advisor to both Labor and Coalition governments.
He was Chair of the Board of Taxation from June 2011 to December 2012 and a member of the Board since its inception in 2000. He also served as Chair of the Business Tax Working Group from 2011 to 2012, and as Chair of the New Tax System Advisory Board (1999 to 2001). He was a member of the Working Group that consulted with the mining industry about the resource rent tax (2011–12).
Chris has diverse experience in the tax and consulting profession. He started his accounting career with Arthur Andersen in 1979, was a senior lecturer in taxation at Sydney’s University of Technology from 1982 to 1985, and then worked at KPMG for over 25 years. From 1995 to 2000, he was Partner in Charge of the NSW Tax and Legal Division of KPMG, and from 2001 to 2012 was Chairman of Partners for KPMG NSW.
Until taking up his role as Commissioner of Taxation, Chris was the Chairman of the Committee for Sydney, a director of the Bell Shakespeare Company and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, as well as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the NSW Art Gallery.
Chris has a Master of Laws (Sydney University) and Bachelor of Commerce and Law (University of NSW). He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors and a Chartered Tax Adviser with The Tax Institute.
Chris’s term runs until 29 February 2024.
Executive team responsibilities
Janine Bristow is the Chief Finance Officer, overseeing all aspects of ATO finances, including resource management and strategy, budgeting, financial accounting and tax reporting, procurement and contract management, project and portfolio management, and property and facilities management services.
Janine leads professionals across ATO Finance, providing the ATO with financial modelling, insights, business analytics, advice and support to ensure the ATO meets its obligations and is efficient and effective in the investment of public monies.
Janine supports the delivery of the ATO's outcomes and priorities, aligning the ATO’s organisational strategy to financial investment.
Jacqui Curtis, as Chief Operating Officer, is responsible for leading the ATO’s Enterprise Strategy and Corporate Operations Group. Jacqui also holds the position of Head of the Australian Public Service (APS) human resources (HR) Professional Stream.
The role of Enterprise Strategy and Corporate Operations is to ensure we are well positioned for APS-wide reforms and that our people management, communication solutions, planning, governance, finance, risk and change management are strategic and effective.
Jacqui brings together an integrated picture of people and resource management, ensuring the ATO has the right capability and culture to deliver on our strategic intent. She plays a lead role in managing relationships with key stakeholders including scrutineers. All of these underpin our ability to deliver a better experience for both clients and staff.
Jacqui also plays a key role as a member of the APS Chief Operating Officer Committee in managing whole-of-government operational and implementation matters as well as driving delivery of agreed initiatives under the government’s APS reform agenda, in line with the direction set by the APS Secretaries Board.
As Head of the APS HR Professional Stream, Jacqui builds strategic HR capability through initiatives that help identify core, long-term capability needs, standards and career pathways to support HR professionals in the APS.
Kirsten Fish acted in the role of Second Commissioner of the Law Design and Practice Group from 1 October to 30 June 2021. Kirsten has overall responsibility for the ATO’s law practice, including law interpretation, public advice and guidance, independent dispute prevention and resolution, and our role in policy and law design.
The Law Design and Practice Group contributes to the administration of the tax and superannuation systems by seeking to make tax fair, simple and understood. We work collaboratively with Treasury and other agencies in supporting government outcomes and leading the ATO’s work on design of new policies and law. Law Design and Practice is involved at the early stages of advice and review, providing certainty through interpretation of the law and publication of guidance to support our clients in getting it right the first time.
We are committed to understanding the drivers of disputes, litigating only the right cases, and encouraging prevention and ensuring earlier resolution where disputes happen.
Jeremy Hirschhorn is the Second Commissioner with overall responsibility for the ATO’s Client Engagement Group, which fosters willing participation in Australia’s tax and superannuation systems through well-designed client experiences.
Across all client experiences – from the very largest public and multinational businesses to small businesses and individuals – the Client Engagement Group uses insights from client interactions to help design a tax system that makes it easier to comply, and harder not to. The group supports the integrity of the tax and superannuation systems by addressing non-compliance, and ensures increasing transparency about the operation of the system for taxpayers and key partners.
The group also plays an important role in working with the international tax community. Through collaborating with other jurisdictions, the Client Engagement Group improves the way tax administrations work together to address arrangements used to evade and avoid tax.
Ramez Katf is the Second Commissioner with overall responsibility for the Enterprise Solutions and Technology Group, and the ATO’s Chief Information Officer.
Ramez provides leadership and strategic direction to modernising the revenue collection system and contributing to the government’s broader digital agenda.
Enterprise Solutions and Technology ensures we are taking advantage of the most innovative trends in technology to improve the experience of ATO staff and the community. This role continues to play an important role within the ATO and the APS in meeting expectations and demand as new technology solutions continue to emerge.
Melinda Smith, as Chief Service Delivery Officer, has overall responsibility for the Service Delivery Group.
This part of the ATO is responsible for a broad range of the ATO’s foundation services for all segments of the community. These include processing payments, activity statements, income tax returns, superannuation lodgments and other forms, as well as administering the tax file number register, Australian Business Register, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers (under a delegation from ASIC) and registers held on behalf of the superannuation industry.
The group focuses on working with ATO clients to understand their needs. It offers a tailored approach to help them meet their tax, super and registry obligations as easily as possible through contemporary tools, systems and services. It also engages with clients on a large scale and uses a strategic early intervention approach to educate them and influence willing participation.
The group works closely with other areas of the ATO to improve the experience for clients and drive greater efficiency and quality outcomes. The focus on better use of data, digitisation and building a strong service culture ensures the ATO is well positioned for the future.
Deborah Jenkins acted as Second Commissioner, Law Design and Practice Group until September 2020.